Did you know that self-help programs have a 97 percent failure rate? The self-help industry—valued at $10 billion a year in the US alone—is extremely profitable for good reason: people continue to come back year after year in hopes that this year will be the one when their lives will change.

beyond_willpower_cvrWhat’s the reason for this high failure rate? In his book Beyond Willpower: The Secret Principle to Achieving Success in Life, Love, and Happiness (Harmony Books), author Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND, explains it very simply: most self-help programs are based on the same three-step “blueprint for failure”:

  1. Focus on what you want.
  2. Figure out a plan to get there.
  3. Put the plan into action.

And why doesn’t this formula work? Because willpower alone, which is fear-based, doesn’t get us what we really want. What does? Love.

In this revolutionary book, Loyd explains how he has helped thousands of people transform their lives, using simple, research-driven techniques that anyone can use at home. Here is an excerpt that describes what he calls the Greatest Principle and how it works:

Most people live their whole lives believing some external result is what they really want. Many people go after a dozen or two in their lifetime, thinking each time that “this one will do it for me.” Realizing that you’ve spent the best resources of your life on a lie can be a shocking and even devastating experience. You may have given up your youth, your money, your relationships, your energy, and your health to pursue “the thing” you thought you wanted most—only to discover not only that it isn’t what you really want most, but that it actually led you away from what you did want most. Perhaps you’ve discovered that you have believed the lie the vast majority of our culture also believes: external circumstances purchase the internal state of love and peace.

On the other hand, if you are among the small segment that answered question number 1 with an inward state, let me be the first to congratulate you. You are truly in the top percentile of what I believe is the most important metric for success. However, that doesn’t mean you have achieved the internal state. You don’t tend to want something you already have. If you already had the inward state of love and peace, you probably would have answered the genie question with something like, “I don’t wish for anything. I have everything I need and want. Maybe more love and peace.”

Whether you’ve just discovered that the internal state is your ultimate success goal or whether you’ve known it for a long time, the tools and process of the Greatest Principle are how you’re going to get it. As a concept, the Greatest Principle is actually very simple: it means doing the opposite of what ignites your stress response. Specifically, you need to give up your expectation of a specific and future end result attained by willpower, and instead focus on creating the internal state that is the power source for your external circumstances. Here’s another way to put it in more practical terms:

Do whatever you do from an inward state of love, focusing on the present moment.

That’s it. That’s the Greatest Principle. I know, this is chapter 1. But now I’ve walked you through all the background information you will need to fully understand why the typical success blueprint doesn’t work, and why this theory and application does. Living in love while focusing on the present moment is all you have to do to achieve the most success imaginable, in every life area—the perfect success for you.

Reprinted from Beyond Willpower: The Secret Principle to Achieving Success in Life, Love, and Happiness. Copyright © 2015 by Alexander Loyd. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

To find out about Rose’s thoughts on how to live a happier life, click here

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